autonomous vehicles

The huge global market of autonomous vehicles is booming and spurring competition to develop the best technology for cars, thereby inspiring collaboration between technology giants and automakers. According to inventors of self-driving cars, by 2040, we could be relaxing or reading, playing video games, or even surfing the net while being chauffeured by computer-controlled systems that will not require any inputs from humans. Before we discuss how and why autonomous driving will be the next big trend, let’s first understand what exactly is autonomous driving.

What is autonomous driving?

Autonomous driving or self-driving car is a vehicle that can affect operation with minimal or no human interaction. These cars are equipped with technologies that can create an image of their surroundings and navigate traffic. The SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers has created some standards for automation.

Self-driving cars essentially create a virtual map of their surroundings by using GPS systems, sensors, and radars. Additionally, advanced control systems process the geographic information and help make decisions. Some control systems are also equipped with intelligent object detection that helps the system navigate obstacles.

Reasons why autonomous driving is the next big thing

1. 60% Reduction in harmful emissions

Research has shown that the US alone produces 30% of all of its global warming emissions. But despite this, more vehicles are manufactured and deployed daily. Additionally, traffic jams, excessive speed, braking, and re-accelerating add to pollution.

Autonomous driving enables capabilities like consistent driving speed, keeps a measured distance between vehicles, which in turn can reduce the frequency of breaking and re-accelerating. What’s more, is that self-driving cars with electric or hybrid engines can further reduce the pollution by lessening the use of fuel.

autonomous driving

2. Road safety

According to a study, road accidents result in 1.25 million deaths and 20-50 million injuries worldwide. And if not taken care of, road traffic injuries can be the fifth leading cause of death by the end of 2030. Self-driving cars are the solution to road accidents. Since human error counts for 90% of the traffic accidents, moving all the operational responsibility to ADS can increase road safety. 

Autonomous Driving will be the next big tech trend?

3. Less traffic

Autonomous car technology, like connected cars, is another great solution to clogged roads. Connected cars communicate with each other. This, in turn, helps optimize routes for each vehicle, thereby creating a network of information that distributes the traffic flow.

4. Eliminates stop and go waves

The stop and go behavior generally refers to the act where humans develop changes in speed or acceleration. This releases a lot of harmful waves. Autonomous cars can help eliminate these waves of traffic that are a resultant of this stop and go behavior. Autonomous cars will, therefore, not only help people in saving their time but also reduce the time their cars are on the road. Overall, it will also reduce emissions.

5. Increase in lane capacity

The autonomous vehicle technology guide by Rand predicts that lane capacity could increase by a staggering 500%. This figure is, however, but only to 100% by the State Smart Transportation Initiative. They further state that autonomous cars could result in a 20% increase in traffic speed.

autonomous driving

6. Last-mile services

The autonomous vehicle will provide last miles services that can help connect commuters to public transportation. Currently, larger cities face the challenge of providing adequate public transportation. This gap can be filled by autonomous vehicles, thereby solving the first-mile last-mile problem.

Last-mile services

Conclusion

The future of driving will have a significant impact on driverless cars. You can now stretch your endurance, reduce your fatigue on a long trip, and get the necessary work done before reaching the office. But most importantly, the computer system will have your backs as they are more vigilant and can react faster to any forthcoming mishap.

There is also a great chance that self-driving cars will see large-scale adoptions and pave the way for a reduction in injuries, accident-related deaths, and expenses. Advances in computational power, network connectivity and speed, and the explosion of new data combined with opportunities for automation and driverless technology will also encourage other technical advances.

What is your take on autonomous driving? How would you use it to the maximum potential? Leave a comment below!

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